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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/14/2019 in Record Reviews

  1. 7 points
    I've now had quite a bit of time on my QED to feel comfortable enough to leave a review for it. The thing about QED reviews is they can become outdated, some of the early QED reviews floating around on Internet already are quite outdated; the QED is one of the few detectors that real updates can happen while under your ownership with improvements from the manufacturer. After having my QED for a few months an update was released that improved and made ground balancing more efficient, it also added support for DD and concentric coils. Although I didn't really need the update as I was happy with my QED the way it was I was quick to send mine off to have the upgrade done, It's only a $30 trip over to Australia from New Zealand for the control box to be sent to have it's update and I had it back quickly. The warranty of the QED which is an incredible 5 years allows for free firmware updates for the warranty period, this particular charge required a hardware update however and the manufacturer said he'll be doing the update for every owner at no charge. There is a big tick for customer service. It was recently suggested to me that seeing I have very mild soil conditions I should give my PI machines a go in a mode that allows me to run with ground balance disabled as it will give me maximum depth and sensitivity if I can do it, a secret weapon. My other PI which is a Minelab GPX 4500 unfortunately doesn't have the Coin and Relic timing required to disable its ground balance, it's only available on the GPX 5000, the QED on the other hand does have the no ground balance mode, Mode 11 which was a mode added for beach detecting. This mode has allowed me to get a really big boost in depth on the detector, it works quite well for me, I can't rapidly raise and lower my coil off the ground however if I do it at a normal pace it stays silent and handles the ground otherwise perfectly with ground balance disabled. Hot rocks can be a problem in this mode as you can imagine so I find it best to use like this in places with minimal hot rocks or bigger hot rocks I can just kick away. I can always switch back to the normal modes if I have any grief. Since Reg Wilson wrote his review on the QED the new ground balance method called DSM has been introduced, this has allowed the QED to handle changeable soil conditions much better than the previous firmware, for me the benefit of the ground handling was outstanding, I've not needed to ground balance the QED in my soils since, so I can just use the ground balance controls to tweak for maximum sensitivity and depth. The QED itself is incredibly light, it feels like swinging a little VLF detector, the control box is well situated so you can comfortably adjust the controls with your thumb, it has nice big buttons and it only has four buttons so there is no difficulty with the controls. The QED may sound confusing to use as it is different to other detectors, however it's really not. It's quite a simple detector to learn to operate once you've got the hang of the basic understanding of it. The manufacturer has good videos on their YouTube page explaining how to use it, I found that easier to understand than reading the manual as I was able to see it done. A very important feature with the QED for me was the ability to use the massive range of Minelab GPX Coils on the market, I’ve tested mine with coils by X-coils, Nugget Finder, Coiltek, Detech and the standard Minelab Commander coils, all of which have worked very well although I do favour the X-coils on it for their super stability and sensitivity. As for batteries it uses two 18650's, cheap and easy batteries to get your hands on, unlike the almost $500NZD I had to pay for a spare battery for my GPX I was able to purchase two top quality spare batteries for my QED for under $20. As others have commented on before the QED excels with its small gold finding abilities, often compared to the SDC 2300. I can confirm for me this is correct, the QED is very sensitive to small sub gram gold. The new DD coil support would normally be touted as a way to improve EMI handing in problematic situaitons which DD coils tend to be better for, this isn't the case with the QED as it already has outstanding EMI handling capabilities, I've run it right under power lines with minimal issues, near high voltage power lines has also presented me with no problems. About the only place I've encountered annoying EMI issues is when I try run it inside my house. I guess for those with extremely bad soil conditions the DD support maybe handy, still, it gives options and any extra options are good. The QED comes with an external speaker that mounts on the shaft with a supplied bracket which has good volume. It is perfect for me as I dislike using headphones and get annoyed with cords dangling everywhere, it does have a headphone jack that you can use with a wireless transmitter/receiver combo like the Quest Wirefree Mate to use headphones without being tethered to the detector, this works well. For those sick of swinging heavy Pulse Induction detectors or detectors that require you to have cords dangling everywhere the QED is for you, for those who want a very competitive Pulse Induction detector for a very reasonable price the QED is for you. I’m glad I purchased it. I saved the best for last, the QED is manufactured by a person, a real person... somebody you can contact and talk to about it. He'll answer your questions and give you advice, he'll help you out, you're treated as a valued customer and for me this is one of the most important things.
  2. 6 points
    I would like to begin this review with a bit of background. A couple of years ago I received a phone call from an old prospector that I had not seen since since the late 1980s when I was involved in testing a prototype pulse induction detector developed by Bruce Candy, one of the original Minelab team. I had tested one of Bruce's earlier VLF prototypes of the GT16000, in the process of which I turned up a 98 oz nugget in a patch of over 300 ozs. It was while I was in London that I picked up a newspaper and read of a new type of metal detector developed by Eric Foster of Pulse Induction Technologies. This detector was finding Celtic gold treasures at depths not achievable with VLF machines. Naturally I was quite excited and on returning to Australia, then to Adelaide, passed on the information to Bruce. Some months later I had a PI prototype from Bruce in my hands.....and the rest is history. My old prospector acquaintance explained to me that he had met a most interesting electronics 'wiz', who had developed over many years a very compact pulse induction detector, and that he needed someone with experience and credibility to test it for him. Naturally I was curious and the introduction was made. I visited Mr. Howard Rockey who lived not far from me, just out of Ballarat, one of the worlds most famous gold towns. He was a very friendly man who impressed me with his enthusiasm for his project. After showing me his detector (which I must admit looked a little simplistic and perhaps unfinished) we proceeded to his back yard for a demonstration. He had a tiny piece of gold in a clear plastic pill bottle which he tossed onto his lawn. I noticed all the electric wires in the area and thought, "this will be interesting". He turned on the detector, did a quick ground balance whilst explaining to me that his detector was manual GB, then swung it over the target. The response was crisp and very positive, and I have to admit I was a bit taken aback. I then had a play with the machine myself, moving the target to different positions and distances from the coil. I noticed that it ran smoothly despite all the obvious electronics in the area. He explained that it even ran smoothly inside the house. I left Howard's home with a prototype and over the next few weeks the machine received extensive testing as I familiarised myself with the different settings and mannerisms of the QED. It was quite different to the detectors that I had been used to - it achieved the required performance through procedures new to me. The more I used it, the more I liked it. As its functions became more familiar, my confidence grew. Out in the field, the first small bit of gold turned up after a few days, and I then knew that this was a viable gold hunting machine. The current PL2 QED is quite an improvement on that first prototype (which I still have and prize greatly) as it has better balance and has some additional features. The mode has been extended, and auto ground balance added (not auto ground tracking). The battery system is now lighter and charging much easier than the earlier version. The controls can be accessed with the thumb with one hand, making adjustments easy. I won't go through the functions here as that information can be found within the operations manual, but I will give a few reasons why I enjoy using this detector. Firstly, it is very light and well balanced - I give the machine a very high rating for its ergonomics. Secondly, the target response is extremely positive even on tiny targets, and when fitted with a small mono coil it performs as good if not better than other specialist small gold detectors. Thirdly, although small in size it does not lack power when matched with even very large coils, and comes close to matching even the most expensive of the bigger heavier detectors, punching surprisingly deep. In summing up...this is not the perfect detector...nor is any other detector I have ever used to this point. The QED suits my detecting style in that I can use any size coil I wish for different circumstances, covering more ground while prospecting new areas. I know that with its sharp signal response I will miss very little. I am confident that this machine will also do the 'low and slow' hunting out of deeper and more elusive targets in previously proven ground.
  3. 4 points
    I honestly feel that this Is the most underrated machine in its class. It is hard to write about this machine with any brevity because there's so much that needs to be touched on. What were intended to be its strengths actually became its drawbacks in the mainstream of detecting. I believe the intent was to create a kind of ultimate do it all machine that would outclass anything on the market in terms of target information and user access to customizing operating parameters. To me, it accomplished that. But that is not your average metal detector consumer's preference or how the average joe is accustomed to detecting as we saw with the success of competitors with machines that work in a more automated or simplified fashion. Most guys would rather just get on about the business of detecting. I say all that to say this...if you're not committed to learning each feature that makes a (multifrequency) metal detector tick, and if you're not willing to invest significant time on the academic aspects of this machine, it's not for you and you will not get the most out of it. You'll jump into a rabbit hole or quicksand to be quickly overwhelmed with each change. When it comes to the more technical aspects of the hobby this machine is a lesson in humility. From the beginning I decided I would try where others have failed and that is in resisting the temptation to blame the machine rather than my own ignorance of complex interactions and lack of patience or discipline. Resisting the temptation to settle for the easier, automatic, good enough of other platforms. To me it was important to put that out there because I often see user shortcomings being projected onto what is almost a blank slate with a powerful set of tools. In the world of general detecting (relics, coins, jewelry) in most conditions this machine is what you make of it and will parrot your technical skill, knowledge level or lack thereof back at you in its performance, whereas other machines are more forgiving and supplement more for that. Don't get me wrong, there's a persuasive argument to be made to reject the V3i for not being user friendly and not doing more on its own. I continue to believe that it provides an edge in conditions ranging from mild to moderate, that there is especially no better machine on isolated targets in those conditions if you want to use a machine like this for what it was intended, and that is finding valuable targets while digging the lowest ratio of trash to treasure to get to such targets. No machine has more data points and tells to learn from. There are features on this machine that can be used in ways probably never intended, to gather information on target composition and the presence of an adjacent target that tone and VDI are not able to capture alone. In this last season particularly I had a paradigm shift about how approaching this machine with the dogma of traditional methods of detecting can limit you. In any case, in terms of its ability, The Pros: it is well balanced across the spectrum of metals. It can hit anything from deep silver down to fine gold thanks to its true simultaneous, broad 3-frequency approach to multifrequency with single frequency options. No other machine to this day that I'm aware of shows you in color how each of its frequencies are actually reacting to a target and in so many ways. I've found more jewelry with it than I know what to do with. Contrary to some opinions, it can be a deep machine. The ability is there, but does seem limited by stock or in house coils to a bit above average. Detech coils, particularly the ultimate 13 turns it into a depth monster even out of proportion of what you'd expect a 13" coil to do for it. That coil brings it into F75 LTD depth territory albeit with a bit larger coil, but with far more target information and disc ability. The wireless headphones are a plus and bring added features to the platform as well, like mixed stereo for disc in one ear and all metal in the other. This machine is durable. The membrane buttons on the machines I have, some of them near 10 years old are still responsive and springy for lack of a better word. Pinpoint trigger has never failed and LCD shows no signs of going anything soon. The V3i is no exception to Whites legendary durability. For now, my summary is this. This machine is the very best I have used in the specific set of conditions I described. But you must earn it. If you're not willing to invest time in academics and experimentation you will be better off with a machine that makes more decisions for you. Stock programs on this machine will perform at an average baseline level with above average target information. The strength of this machine is to be able to dial in the parameters with more latitude than has ever been given to users. It operates on a philosophy of trusting you with all the fine tuning normally left to blanket algorithms hoping that a bit of knowledge combined with human senses will know better what adjustments to make to give it an edge. You have the ability to create or even copy a virtually unlimited number of programs because of the storage space available. Even the VDI system can be altered and tailored by the user. Do not be put off by the age of the platform. This machine was ahead of its time and still has what it needs to be a top shelf metal detector. Metal detectors are not very hardware intense to start with compared to phones, tablets and computers. I would argue most advances have come in the form of software and programming, and integrating more compact, energy efficient circuitry. The cons: it is heavy by today's standards. It is not waterproof. That is a shame because of its potential in freshwater lakes and rivers. It is not the fastest machine on the block even when recovery is maxed out, but being a hub of target information and analysis, you wouldn't expect it to be. That is not its greatest strength. This is one issue that can be overcome in time as you acquire small coils, and learn to integrate alternate methods of adjacent target interrogation that take advantage of a visual on frequency reaction in manipulating the pinpoint trigger, and even some temporal analysis in some configurations. The ground balance system on this machine is the biggest disappointment and limits what this machine could've been in more circumstances. Getting a good ground balance on this machine in rapidly changing terrains can be challenging. Autotrac does not keep up as well as you'd like, so you must locktrac with offsets, which works, but is not optimal on a machine that is all about optimization. In other words it will do well enough on a salt beach, but that's not where it shines. It is important to make a point about this though. I have 2 V3s and 1 V3i that I compare and contrast and run experiments on. I've been able to confirm prior reports that the V3 is able to ground balance and track harsher and rapidly changing conditions better than the V3i. Software changes when the V3 became the V3i shined a light on its ground balance system in such conditions. It was reported that Whites reduced tracking parameter in order to get a better target ID. So there are some advantages to owning a V3 and not upgrading it. Including the ability to communicate wirelessly with other V3 users to exchange programs and settings on the spot. But there are some things you give up when it comes to target analysis. It's a trade off. As an aside, In 2018 these machines have some untapped potential and capability as well as yet to be discovered hidden menus that would be interesting to access and explore, maybe even more tracking access. Although this platform has its weaknesses and limitations, I'm giving it 5 stars because there is nothing like it on the market that can satisfy the geeks and egg heads of the hobby to experiment and push boundaries like this one can. There is a reason even guys like Steve H, who would likely describe themselves as more of a prospector, keep coming back to it. It is hard to get the general potential of this machine out of your head once you've had it and have the level of information that tells you there ought to be some pretty wicked combos that could be assembled if provided enough time. There's still a lot of room for user development and contributions. V3i is both an instructor and a powerful tool in all things metal detecting if you have time to dedicate to it. It is unbeatable as an inland relic, jewelry, coin, and cache machine. Even the things it's not the best at it can do competently. Combine it with a machine like an Equinox whose strengths and weaknesses are like a lock and key, and you'll have the deadliest duo around. In presenting the V3i as I have I'm not necessarily saying that it is the "best" at more things than any other machine. Just that there are fundamental things it can do best in the hands of a learned user. I'm an arsenal detectorist and appreciate all our technology. But I feel comfortable saying because of its complexity many of the best detectorists in the world have not realized it's potential and it's rightful place among the very best general application machines. As a result it has suffered a lack of the level of professional user development that other major platforms have gotten. Whites may have been wrong about how many people would be interested in a machine like the V3i, but they weren't wrong about what it could do if they were. (I have somehow managed to end up with different font sizes. I wrote this up on my iPhone and not sure how to correct that with its limited tools, but I will correct this {I'm too OCD to accept it} and continue to edit for the sake of brevity and being as concise as possible on my MacBook where I'm more familiar)
  4. 3 points
    I recently bought a Teknetics Patriot. I have been interested in this detector since it was released and finally found a deal I could not refuse. I have owned another Teknetics 13kHz detector that had EMI issues in the urban areas I usually hunt in . I was afraid that the Patriot would exhibit some of the same behavior. Fortunately, even on the default settings in Program 1 (discrimination mode) the Patriot was very quiet and needed no adjusting except to turn up the sensitivity!!!! So far, I have really enjoyed detecting with the Patriot both for its detecting prowess and for its outstanding ergonomics. It will easily detect accurately past the 5" level in my two to three Fe3O4 bar mineralized dirt and is an absolute joy to swing. It is beautifully balanced and feels like a 2 pound detector not a very nose heavy almost 3 pound detector like some of the Fishers and Teknetics that do not have a battery box under the arm rest. It should be a great relic hunter, a good prospecting detector and has already proven to be a very fine coin and jewelry hunter. If you are considering buying one of these, read up on recommended settings for the F70/Patriot. Lots of good information on this forum and two others that will really help setting it up for your conditions. I highly recommend this detector either for a relative newbie, intermediate user, or a very experienced hunter in need of a mid single frequency or backup detector. Jeff
  5. 3 points
    I have been metal detecting for over 45 years now and have waited decades for a metal detector like the Equinox 800. Until now the so-called "do-it-all" multipurpose metal detectors have been very limited in one fashion or another. In particular, there has been a wide gap between metal detectors that can handle saltwater very well and those that are very good at gold nugget prospecting. Waterproof detectors have also tended to be feature limited in the past, heavy, and usually expensive. I primarily prospect for gold nuggets, and hunt for coins and jewelry both in parks and at the beach / in the water. Historically I have needed different detectors for water hunting and for gold prospecting. Suffice it to say that the Minelab Equinox 800 is the first detector I have owned that can do all the types of detecting I like to do, and do it very well, if not better than other detectors. Add in the fact that it is waterproof, has built in wireless headphone capability, and is incredibly affordable, and you have a detector that pleases me more and in more ways than any other I have ever owned.
  6. 2 points
    I can only echo what Lunk and Aureous have said here. I really like this detector for gold prospecting. It has so many great and adjustable features that it makes nugget hunting even more fun than it already was. I especially like the XGB ground tracking, push of a button shift from VCO to two tone ferrous/non-ferrous pitched audio, silent search when I want it by adjusting the threshold tone, nice ergonomics and the super hot 6.5" coil. Awesome, fun, can't wait to use it gold prospecting, relic hunting and even coin and jewelry hunting detector.
  7. 2 points
    Ive used every high frequency VLF gold prospecting detector from the original Whites Goldmasters, the Fisher Gold Bug 2, GMT, Kruzer and the GM1000. The 24K is superior in most areas but especially performance. For small gold in mild ground conditions, the 24K is hard to beat.
  8. 2 points
    Recently purchased the XP ORX. A family member gave me a generous dollar amount Amazon gift card. I had nothing to spend it on since I'm not a Prime customer and I was sort of missing my former Deus. I had read a lot of speculative reviews (how can you write a review without having one in your hands to use) and some really negative ones too which had lots of seemingly inaccurate information. So I was eager to give the ORX a try once it became possible, money wise. I sold my Deus because of the lack of ID normalization for the HF coils which made coin and jewelry detecting no fun with them. Those coils were great for gold prospecting and I loved the packability of the Deus. The ORX really does have full ID normalization for all four search modes and all of the 21 frequencies I have tried using the elliptical HF DD coil. It has a much improved numerical target ID screen and gives accurate numbers and tones down to 4" using either of the coin modes in the moderate to highly mineralized dirt where I detect in the Rocky Mountain region. It outdoor air tests and test bed tests very well on .2 gram to 1 gram nuggets and lead in both gold modes at 68kHz and is comparable in depth to the Makro Gold Kruzer and Equinox 800 (6" coil). The iron probability bar and the large numerical target ID are displayed when a shallow to fairly deep target is detected in all of the 4 search modes and the two customizable modes. There is no horseshoe graph, XY graph, microscopic mineralization bar, or small, hard to see target ID numbers on the ORX. It comes with two gold modes which are based on the Deus gold field program. One is for milder soil conditions and the second gold program is for highly mineralized areas and smaller gold. It also comes factory preset with the Deus Fast and Deus Deep programs which work very well in my area. It also has a salt mode when needed. There are no adjustments for audio response and the silencer is adjusted when reactivity is adjusted in the Coin Fast program. It has three tone audio which may sound very limited to long-time Deus users but works very well. US nickels and almost all aluminum trash and gold jewelry down to about 4" depth register as medium tone. Zincs up to large silver coins and jewelry register as high tones. The target ID numbers are also very stable down to 4" here. They should be stable much deeper in mild soil. Modern nickels hit hard on 62-63 while most coin sized or bigger aluminum trash hits between 65 and 80 which is a nice large range. Smaller aluminum seems to hit in the 40 to 60 range while small foil hits in the 30s. I have dug several 1/4" in diameter foil wads which sounded great at 6" in Coin Fast at 28kHz. Being a micro jewelry/gold prospector, this is very encouraging. So, I can't wait to get the ORX and its gold modes up to some prospecting areas in the Colorado mountains this summer. It comes with simplified wireless back phones that just control the volume level. I couldn't see the display on the WS4 module without magnification anyway so not having that problem to deal with is fine with me. The back phones work well. The ORX remote control has the same 1/8" jack as the Deus so that is an option for wired headphones along with using the Deus wired headphone adapter card that is an accessory and attaches to the back of the ORX back phone module the same way as the Deus WS4 puck controller. It will pair and has advanced functions when using the Mi6 Pinpointer also. At 1lbs 14 oz, it feels a lot lighter than the Deus, has a great, easy to see target ID/iron probability display, HF coil ID normalization and is simple to setup without all of the sometimes cumbersome audio features of the Deus. The only adjustments I have made coin and jewelry hunting are slight frequency shifts and lowering of the sensitivity in highly mineralized areas. I have not experienced any EMI problems at all above 28 kHz. 14 to 17 kHz is a little more chatty of course, but can be controlled. Despite much of the speculative and negative pre-release opinions, the ORX is an outstanding selectable multi frequency, multi purpose detector that is a joy to use and have success with, without wondering most of the time if I have it setup correctly. For me and my detecting needs, it is actually an improvement over the Deus not just a simplified Deus and it definitely isn't a DPR 600 which uses much of the same display platform as the Deus and has four single tone threshold based all metal modes for prospecting and no coin/jewelry modes. The ORX has all of the audio sensitivity of the Deus if you were to set the Deus up in three tones. So, it looks a lot like a Deus, sounds like a Deus, detects like a Deus and swings like one too. It has been a lot of fun so far. Jeff
  9. 2 points
    I am a Fisher Gold Bug Pro fan. The machine is lightweight, easy to use, and very effective for what it is designed for. However, the Gold Bug Pro is somewhat feature limited and the F19 adds some extra capability that many people would welcome - things like a meter backlight or ferrous volume setting, for instance. The main thing however is that if you want the 10" x 5.5" elliptical coil for the Gold Bug Pro you have to get it as an accessory coil, or buy a two coil package. It is odd to this day that the Gold Bug Pro, a machine aimed at gold prospectors, is not available with the 10" elliptical coil as the stock coil. For this reason I aim people who want that coil at the F19 because you can get it stock with that coil. You get all the 19 kHz performance of the Gold Bug Pro, plus extra features, by getting the F19, and for about the same price as a Gold Bug Pro two coil package. Either way, this 19 khz model in all its flavors is a very solid performer on low conductors like gold and small targets like ear rings or small gold nuggets. The 19 khz platform is a little weak on silver coins but still does very well as a coin hunter. The main thing I like is the light weight, solid performance, and very simple operation. The 19 kHz circuit is also one of the best I have used for ignoring electrical interference in areas where other machines may have issues. Finally, do note that the Fisher F19 is the same unit electronically as the Teknetics G2+. The only real difference is the rod and grip assembly and the coil that comes stock. The F19 has the classic "S" rod handle, while the G2+ has a modified "S" rod with pistol grip design some people may prefer.
  10. 2 points
    I’m really liking the new Goldmaster 24k, a very versatile VLF gold machine with innovative ground balancing technology and adjustable feature set. It’s lightweight, well balanced, very stable at high sensitivity with minimal coil bump falsing, has a pleasant tone, and won’t easily tip over when sitting on the ground. And the machine's versatility is enhanced by its DD and concentric coil options.
  11. 1 point
    It was very tempting to give the Vanquish a 5 star rating, not because it's the best metal detector available, but it certainly seems the best available in it's price range. It's a powerful high performance detector in a price range you would not until recently expect such a good detector. It's very similar in performance to the much higher priced Equinox, it just lacks the advanced features of the Equinox such as adjustable iron bias, 50 tones, water proofing and so on. The 540 has Iron bias but it's only got two options which are low and high. For someone new to detecting it's the perfect choice, it's simple to use, and it has exceptionally reliable target ID's which makes finding coins a breeze. For someone more advanced it's an enjoyable powerful detector that you can just turn on and go and have a lazy fun day detecting. It's simplified, just how I like it, but just because it's simple doesn't mean it doesn't do the job well. It is no doubt the best beach detector in it's price range on wet and dry sand and better than many of the competitions far higher priced detectors for the purpose due to having Multi Frequency operation (Multi-IQ). The same proven technology in the Equinox and the secret sauce behind the success of the Equinox. The Vanquish can easily take on detectors from other manufacturers that are at a much higher price point and I suspect in the coming months the other manufacturers will have to significantly drop their pricing to stay in the game. Although it's cut back on features compared to the Equinox it still has features that rival or are better than higher priced detectors from some of the competition. It has volume control, pinpoint, a back light on it's screen which is a red light, I find it better than the back light on the Equinox. It shrinks down in size to put in your backpack with it's expandable shaft. I again prefer the Vanquish expanding shaft over the Equinox shaft. It has various modes which include Coin, Relic, Jewellery, Custom, All Metal. Runs of 4 AA batteries and easily lasts a few days off them prior to charging. It auto noise cancels when you turn it on and handles EMI very well. It has 25 discrimination segments and like it's big brother the Equinox it has 50 target ID numbers and a 5 level depth indicator that seems very accurate on coin sized targets. The 1.3 Kg weight to me feels light and comfortable to swing all day. The Pro Pack which I purchased comes with two coils, the V8 8" x 5" Double-D and V12 12" x 9" Double-D coils. The best two coils out of the three coils available for the Vanquish in my opinion and the only coils you would need. The elliptical shape of the Vanquish coils I prefer over the Equinox coils, I very much wish they were available for the Equinox. With the V8 coil in jewellery/ All metal mode it's a respectable gold nugget prospecting machine, able to compete with the 19khz machines from other manufacturers in performance. For the price you can't go wrong, a real winner and I have no doubt it's going to shake the industry to it's core for the new standard of low priced high performance VLF detectors. 👍
  12. 1 point
    I used both the earlier CZ-20 and the CZ-21. I am a fan of the CZ series in general, and consider the CZ-21 to be one of the two VLF detectors I personally favor for serious water detecting, the other being the Minelab Excalibur. I am purposefully excluding detectors waterproof to 10 feet when I say this. The CZ-21 at 250 ft and Excalibur at 200 ft depth capability are far more robust detectors for those that truly intend on using a detector almost exclusively in the water. Detectors good to 10 feet are ok for mask and snorkel use but the CZ-21 is a true SCUBA capable detector. The downside is that means it is built like a tank with the weight that goes along with that. Unless you actually need that 250 ft depth rating there are far lighter and less expensive options available now. One small thing tipped me from the CZ-20/21 to the Excalibur and that is the way its audio discrimination was designed for coins instead of jewelry, and audibly puts nickel range targets into the high tone coin category. As a detector designed more for jewelry use the CZ-21 should read nickel range targets as mid-tone. That it does not means that to use the discrimination you either have to accept on passing on nickel range targets if you dig only the mid-tone targets, or just default to a simple ferrous/non-ferrous setting. This flaw largely negates the benefit of even having a mid-tone audio response. The Excalibur dies not suffer from this flaw. That is unfortunate as I rather prefer the CZ-21 otherwise as having a standard control panel with knob arrangement that can be easily hip or chest mounted out of box without extra accessories. The battery setup is more straightforward than that on the Excalibur. The tone arrangement is also simpler and more understandable than the more complex audio produced by the Excalibur, again excepting the aforementioned flaw. Finally, the CZ-21 offers a true all metal ground balance mode which I like a lot. All in all a great detector but I wish Fisher would have updated the machine to put the nickel range back at mid-tone, which would make it a far easier choice for me as compared to the Excalibur. It's really that one thing that puts my off the CZ; other than that it is a near perfect VLF machine for use to SCUBA depths. Hip-mounted it actually is also a very effective coin detector .
  13. 1 point
    I purchased my Monster in March of this year. My original unit had an issue, it would reboot itself with no user input. I contacted Minelab via email and after trying a few things they provided a shipping label and I returned it. Since the unit was less than 30 days old they sent me a new detector. While nobody wants to get a defective unit I was impressed with their customer service. Currently I have in excess of 50 hours using the detector. I describe this machine as a very easy to use and very sensitive to small gold detector. Four user adjustments is all it has: On/Off, Sensitivity (ten manual levels and two auto), Discrimination/No Discrimination and Volume, the detector does the rest. It’s up to the user to pick the correct sensitivity for the soil conditions (or use the Auto sensitivity setting and let the detector do it) and keep the machine ground balanced, other than that you just detect. I run my Monster mostly in the first auto setting as it allows the detector to automatically choose the correct sensitivity for the soil conditions. I do on occasion use the second auto setting, Auto+, or one of the higher manual settings when I’m working a patch and want more sensitivity. Currently I’ve found over 70 pieces of gold with the Gold Monster, all but a couple of those pieces are sub grain sized stuff. Having that extra sensitivity has helped me find some really tiny gold but it does lead to the detector being bump sensitive for me. Since the Auto+ setting is picking the best sensitivity and then adding one level to that (in other words it’s running hot) any movement of the coil caused by bumping something is causing the coil wire to move. There is metal in the wire and if it moves it should cause a signal in my opinion. I don’t have a problem with this, I’m using the extra sensitivity to see extremely tiny bits of gold and I know what’s happening so it is pretty easy to deal with. When running in Auto if I find it getting bump sensitive I ground balance and it usually quiets down but if not I’ll turn the sensitivity down to a lower manual level until it does. Since my hearing is not getting any better with age and this detector does not have a threshold it worried me prior to purchasing. I brought this up on a forum and another Monster user assured me not to worry. You know what, he was right. The audio boost in the detector does a great job of letting you know when you have a target and I have not had any problems working without a threshold. I’ve also found that if the wind is calm and I’m not working by running water headphones are not necessary, the detector is loud enough without them. I’ve come to appreciate this when working in the sun on hot days. My prospecting partner, my oldest son, uses a Gold Bug II and loves it. He’s been using that detector for a couple years now and raves about it. Together we’ve detected over 160 pieces of gold since I got the Gold Monster and on many occasions we have compared targets with both detectors. So far there has not been any target, no matter how small, that both detectors did not see. We both agree that neither of us is at a disadvantage with either detector. Something that I also like about this detector is the number of videos out there about it. The 'Nugget Shooter' Bill Southern and others have done a wonderful job of posting a lot of material on how to get the most out of the Gold Monster. I believe all detectors have a learning curve no matter how easy they make them to use, they all seem to have their little nuances. In the Monster's case though with all the material out there the curve goes way down. Minelab describes the Gold Monster 1000 as an “Entry Level” detector. Being so easy to use I understand why they’re saying that but for me the detector is finding gold like a pro.
  14. 1 point
    This is a well made, well thought out and extremely deep, powerful detector. The switchable frequencies (5/ 14 & 20 kHz) and make it super versatile in any conditions. All programs and features are visible on screen--simple to customize for the novice but with the most advanced discriminate and tough ground features available. Unbelievable to have this kind of power and fidelity in a water machine! Also--the best audio of any machine I've used--great separation in iron and the new 10" coil is a great addition. Love this detector!! cjc
  15. 1 point
    I really love the Fisher F19 Teknetics G2+ form factor. I love it so much that I have bought 2 of them in the past 3 years. I used them for gold prospecting in all metal mode and for detecting in tougher ground balance areas and at beaches for coins and jewelry. I really like the look, operation and comfortable feel of these detectors. They are great for gold prospecting in the .5 gram and larger size range. The 10" X5" coil size both in the stock coil and in some of the aftermarket coils worked very well and provided good depth and stable operation. I did not like this detector as much with the factory 11"X 8" coil. It was less stable in general and did not provide much more depth since I had to lower the gain in order to detect usually. The reason that I no longer own either of these detectors is the lack of audio features and the awkward shifting from all metal to disc mode. Having just two tones and VCO for coin and jewelry hunting in discrimination mode got old fast especially since a large portion of the target range had to be VCO which can sound almost like the low tone on these detectors. No fun constantly looking at the display to figure out the audio response. Shifting from all metal to disc mode and back was really clumsy too since you had to reset your gain or threshold each time. I love the knobs but not for that purpose. The F19 and Teknetics G2+ really are fine prospecting/relic detectors especially with the latest feature upgrades. To bad the audio features are still very limited for the coin and jewelry hunters.
  16. 1 point
    This machine was like my right arm for quite a while. Some say it's complicated but all you have to do is use the machine a bunch and it's not hard to figure out. It's still my go to machine for trash infested parks. You can disk out bottle caps easily. There are lots of custom programs on line that you can down load onto your machine which makes life easier. I've found so much with it including one decent sized gold nugget. It's a little on the heavy side but you get used to it. I've never ran the battery out ever in a full day of hunting. Tough and dependable for amphibious detecting. I give it 5 stars. The only way I'd ever get rid of it is when they come out with a faster CTX 4040 strick
  17. 1 point
    I have and use a MXT Pro, it still is pretty much on top of the vlf pile for coin/jewelry for me, I have tried some of the latest machines and gone back to the MXT Pro every time so far. Most my park finds are in the first 5" of soil, not worried about the latest and greatest, its very good on gold jewelry due to the khz freq, even with the 5.3 eclipse coil I can hit 10" on a coin if needed. The gold mode works well down to about 2 grain wt nugget, is limited in depth due to vlf but is a decent gold machine in some areas. Very wide range of coils makes the MXT very versitile.
  18. 1 point
    For the most part, I really enjoyed using the TDI SL special edition with the Miner Johns coil. It was well balanced and had almost enough features to satisfy me. Where it was lacking the most was in audio nuances and basic power. I could not hear enough audio information for me to distinguish target characteristics easily. Coming from a GP3000, I loved the TDI SL's simplicity and light weight but not its limited tonal deficiencies. The biggest problem though, was its lack of power. I tried different battery scenarios including the RNB product for this model. It helped some but not enough for me to trust that the TDI SL had the raw power to detect effectively past 5" in high mineralization on medium to smallish gold targets. At least that was my experience. In milder soil conditions or in really bad serpentine with shallow targets, it would be great. In my opinion it cannot compete with the GP/GPX series as a gold prospecting PI in the vast majority of detecting environments. As a relic or beach detector it would probably really do well.
  19. 1 point
    Over a decade ago I would have given the White's MXT a five star rating, and am only giving it a four star rating because it is showing its age. The MXT was one of the first detectors to really leverage a microprocessor design in a metal detector by having a switch that made it like owning three detectors in one - Coins & Jewelry, Relics, and Gold Prospecting. Yet it stuck with an analog knob type control interface that is one of the best examples of simplicity and ease of learning I have seen in any detector. The controls are not only clearly marked with "cheater" settings but an abbreviated set of instructions is printed on the bottom of the control box! The MXT also has one of the best coil selections of any VLF detector ever made. The only real weakness is that as a non-waterproof single frequency detector the MXT is not the first choice for saltwater detecting. The MXT 14 kHz circuit is one of the best of the 20th century and the machine is already a true classic. There are newer designs that make the MXT look a little old fashioned but the fact is that it is a very capable detector that would be hard to go wrong with to this day. I have moved on to other units myself but will always consider the MXT to be one of the best metal detectors ever designed. The fact it is still selling almost twenty years later is a testament to that. See my detailed review for far more information than I can present here.
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